Welcome to the eighth installment of Twitter Tuesday. In the spirit of Twitter, this blog will be short and sweet and to the point. The tips offered here are all based off my best-selling book We Are Not Alone–The Writer’s Guide to Social Media. If our goal is to build an author platform in the thousands to tens of thousands, then we will have to approach Twitter differently than a faceless corporation or even the regular person who does not possess a goal of becoming a brand. This blog will help you rule the Twitterverse without devolving into a spam bot
This Week’s Fail Whale–The Unbalanced Tweeter
I have a formula for social media, and it especially applies to Twitter. I call it my Law of Three.
1/3 Information + 1/3 Reciprocation + 1/3 Conversation = Balanced Platform.
If we get on Twitter and all we do is chit-chat about the weather, what we had for lunch, or whether we should get the grande or venti frappucino, it will be hard for others to find much value in our conversation. Yet, on the other hand, if all we do is tweet links, then we leave no opening for others to start a conversation. We sound like an on-line encyclopedia.
In the beginning, I had to put a sticky note on my computer to remind me of this Law of Three. It reminded me to make sure I balanced my Chatty Cathy side with good information to give a relationship with me value added. It also helped me be mindful that I wasn’t overselling my own blogs, books, workshops. The bright pink sticky flower kept me focused on serving others first.
Spend some time on Twitter and it will soon be clear who can be counted on to post good information. RT (retweet) for them and earn their loyalty by being supportive. In turn, your following will grow because now YOU can be counted on to supply valuable posts.
I have seen some people join Twitter, and, as a gimmick, all they do is post blogs or articles on a certain subject. Post after post about writing, Superman, video games, Star Wars, etc. Don’t get me wrong, that is a valuable service, but it isn’t likely to build a relationship. Relying on a tactic like this might get you a huge Twitter following, but you become as personal as an app on our phone. That’s not likely to help your author brand.
The strongest author platforms are built on friendships and reinforced with community “rebar.”
Twitter Tip–Use Twitter for Information Management to Save Time
I hear so many writers groan about Twitter. “Why do I care what somebody had for lunch?” At first glance, Twitter might appear to be only a vehicle for inane conversation. I am here to help you guys look closer.
How many of you like to read on-line articles or blogs?
How many of you like sifting through 20 bad articles or blogs that make no sense before you find something worthwhile?
How many of you prefer to go to links your friends recommend?
How many of you prefer to go to the links the “experts” recommend?
Most of us, when we make the decision to become a writer, don’t generally have vast amounts of free time. We have a day job or even small children who are actively pursuing death while we try to make our word count. Our life is a fine balance of writing before or after work. Or you might be me and struggling to pound out a chapter before the wee one wakes up and finds a way through the baby gate and into the fireplace where he can snack on Crayons, razor blades and toilet cleaner in private.
So let’s just say we are spread a tad thinly.
Twitter can help us use time more efficiently. Have a favorite author? Run a search on Twitter and find her. Pay attention to links she recommends. Follow Writers Digest Magazine (@WritersDigest) or even their contributing editor Jane Friedman (@JaneFriedman). WD goes out of its way to regularly tweet great articles not only to help us with our craft, but to help us with the business side of things. They regularly announce workshops to help us grow in our profession and even offer steep Twitter discounts. That alone should be worth being on Twitter.
After you follow them?
For starters, follow me. I have a nice button in the sidebar to make it easy for you. Then, I recommend you follow @BobMayer, @DonMaass, @JodyHedlund, @JamiGold, @TawnaFenske, @ChuckWendig, @agentsavant, @ThereseWalsh and @4KidLit. If you follow just this handful I mentioned, you will have more than enough material to feed your creative brain for a looooong time. These are just a small fraction of the awesome people I know on Twitter and, trust me I pay attention to EVERYTHING these guys post.
Using Twitter can help us work smarter, not harder. We still have best-selling books to write!
Tweet ya later!